As befits New Year’s Eve, the topic of the last AlbertaPolitics.ca post of 2022 is New Year’s parties. 

Former Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason … at a party (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Specifically, political parties that would like to gain official status in 2023. 

According to Elections Alberta, there are currently 16 parties for which someone has gone to the trouble of reserving their names in the hopes they can become real political parties in 2023. 

By the sound of it, most of them, possibly all of them, are conservative political parties, as the term “conservative” is defined nowadays in Alberta, to wit, far to the right. 

And as former Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason has accurately said on many occasions, you just can’t have too many right-wing political parties in Alberta.

Leastways, there is no Wildrose Communist Party among the 16, although one supposes that, arguably, given the zeitgeist, the Workers United Party could nowadays be either one thing or the other. If this were 1958, I’d say it was definitely a party of the left. In 2023, that would be less certain.

Elections Alberta gets to decide if new parties make the cut for registration (Image: Elections Alberta).

Elections Alberta says there are only three ways to make the registration cut: 

–       Hold three seats in the Legislative Assembly.
–       Endorse candidates in at least half of the electoral divisions in the province (there are 87 at the moment).
–       Complete a petition containing the names and signatures of at least 8,473 eligible electors.

This is a fairly high bar to jump. Nevertheless, there seems to be no shortage of folks who would like to try. 

Here is the list of party names that have been approved by Chief Electoral Officer Glen Resler and are now reserved while their founders work to meet Elections Alberta’s qualifications for registration:

–       Alberta 1st Party (A1P)
–       Alberta’s Best Choice (ABC)
–       Alberta Maverick Party (AMP)
–       Alberta National Party (ANP)
–       Alberta Peoples Statehood (APS)
–       Alberta Prosperity Party (APP)
–       Alberta Statehood Party (ABSP)
–       Conservative Democratic Union (CDU)
–       Independent Political Alliance of Alberta (IPAA)
–       Legalize Real Democracy Party (LRDP)
–       The Justice Party (JP)
–       Land and Labour Party of Alberta (LLPA)
–       True Alberta Party (TAP)
–       Wildrose Liberty Party (WLP)
–       Wildrose Loyalty Coalition (WLC)
–       Workers United Party (WUP)

Only two of the 16 political entities seem to have a presence on the Internet. 

Alberta Chief Electoral Officer Glen Resler (Photo: Elections Alberta).

According to the Alberta Statehood Party’s Facebook page, its founders aspire for Alberta to become part of the United States – a project that might turn out to be more complicated than its adherents innocently believe. Still, they have swag, including “Alberta, USA” hats, and they had a booth at the Red Deer Gun Show. 

Moving to the Legalize Democracy Party, it would appear from its website its founders think we should have referenda about everything, including all bills before the Legislature. One sees practical problems with this approach. If we’re all members of the Legislature, can anyone call quorum? And where will we all sit? Readers will get the idea. 

As for the rest, we can only guess. 

It is possible, one supposes, that the Alberta 1st Party is a spinoff of the now-defunct pro-separation Alberta First Party, and that the Alberta Maverick Party is a spinoff of the Maverick Party, the federal separatist party that seems to have given Canada Tamara Lich, which should be quite enough, thank you very much. 

As previously noted, whether the Workers United Party or the Land and Labour Party of Alberta are entities of the right or the left is not yet clear.

Likewise, what is the difference between the Alberta Statehood Party, referenced above, and the Alberta People’s Statehood Party? Is the Alberta Peoples Statehood Party the Democrat version of the, presumably Republican leaning, Alberta Statehood Party? 

And what’s with the True Alberta Party? Does this suggest that the hapless Alberta Party, which exists and is registered but has never really registered with Alberta voters, has an ideology with which the founders of the TAB disagree profoundly enough to form a new version of the same thing?  Ditto all those Wildrose variants.

Is the IPAA a beer?

And finally, why is there no Natural Law Party of Alberta, since there’s so clearly a desire by some to transcend the current politics of the place? 

Have a great New Year’s party, everyone! See y’all in 2023. 

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34 Comments

  1. If Alberta’s political parties were a solar system, we might have a Jupiter, a Saturn, perhaps a Pluto or two and then a bunch of planetoids colliding and breaking apart into even smaller asteroids. You can have too much of a good thing or a bad thing.

    Maybe it is a sign that the largest conservative party somehow does not resonate with everyone as much as the conventional wisdom of the last few years would think.

    Well the PC party did have a great fall and perhaps all the pieces were also never quite put back together properly again. I would argue as well that the Social Credit and the PCs were the two original conservative parties here and everything since that is somewhat derivative.

    The existence and endurance of all these parties mainly on the right may or may not be the sign of a robust democracy, but regardless, I don’t think it is a good sign for the UCP.

      1. I did not know that. Hopefully Climenhaga will be fine if it keeps a bit of distance from those not so stable right wing planetoids.

  2. David, David, David…what are the folks in Alberta smoking? I have moved to BC, and we are supposed to be imbibing odd substance out here, but whack a doodle political opinions appear to proliferate. Whew! ‍♀️‍♀️

  3. It doesn’t matter how many conservative parties there are in Alberta. This is meaningless. None of them, including the UCP, who still aren’t devoid of internal conflicts and strife, are like the true conservative government that we saw under premier Peter Lougheed. Things really started to deteriorate in Alberta, under premier Ralph Klein, and it’s never gotten any better, since then. All we have seen is the worst possible oil royalty rates, pathetic corporate tax rates, the very large orphan well mess, and loads of other very pricey shenanigans, all of which cost us hundreds of billions of dollars. Key services, like healthcare, get major cutbacks, to foster privatization. Other important things got deregulated, like our utilities, with the false belief that this would make prices go down, when experts, like power engineers knew that wouldn’t happen. Insurance costs skyrocketed. Food bank usage increased in Alberta greatly. Very large amounts of money, which should be stored away, due to the very volatile nature of oil, is used to buy votes. You can’t get any more foolish than this, but unfortunately there are Albertans who are duped by these pseudo conservatives and Reformers, who destroy jobs, instead of create them, and cost us so much money with their stupid antics. When it all goes wrong, it’s never their fault. Hopefully, we will have Rachel Notley back as premier in 2023, or in 2024, depending on when Danielle Smith has the provincial election going in Alberta. I hope everyone has a Happy New Year.

    1. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor did its decline happen overnight.
      Similarly, the decline and fall of Alberta conservatism, post-Petrus Lacus-Caput.
      It’s a process apparently involving disintegration.

  4. When looking at Alberta’s political landscape, the one thing that should strike anyone as weird is that there is an apparent lack of ideological diversity in the province. As pointed out, there is an abundance of right-wing parties that all pretty much mimic each other. They copy each other’s platforms, their mission statements, and even try to steal each other’s voters.

    Why are there so many political parties of the same bent? I suspect it does have a lot to do with Alberta being a pit of stupidity that must be seen to be believed. I cannot think any place or anyone who wants to live in a hellhole like Alabama or Mississippi. But it seems that there are plenty of people in Alberta who really want to take what little there is of civilization in the place and plow it that much further into oblivion. I believe that it’s because the vast majority of people living in Alberta are not from here and have little interest in remaining. And those who have long histories of living in Alberta, either, want to improve the overall condition of the province’s society, or they are determined to make the 1880s great again.

    So, if there cannot be enough right-wing parties, that’s okay with me. Let’s more right-wing political parties in Alberta, like those that promote white supremacy, male supremacy, gun supremacy, Christian/White nationalism … bring it and split that right-wing tens of thousands of ways.

  5. Well, friends, maybe these splinter parties, or “sliver” parties, will act like the old joke about the drink that goes down the wrong way. “Chase that down with another, so they fight each other and leave you alone.” We can hope….

  6. Geez, that’s quite a list. I had no idea. I liked the observation you included from Brian Mason. Looks like you might be missing the Albertan Peoples Front and the Peoples Front of Alberta. They all belong in a Monty Python movie. Happy New Year! Looking forward to all the blog posts in ’23.

  7. Great question Nancy . My family came to Alberta to obtain jobs in 1938 from B.C. I have at least 100 B. C. relatives and like you they can’t believe how stupid Albertans are, and I bet most Canadians feel the same way. They are so stupid they can’t understand why hurling sarcastic comments at eastern Canadians might just be a good enough reason as to why they won’t cooperate with us. Most still remember Ralph Klein’s stupid comments “Let those eastern bastards freeze in the dark”. Of course believing the lies these Reformers keep feeding them, like Ottawa is stealing all our money just goes to show how stupid they are. Ottawa provided Albertans with an extra $30 billion to save us during this pandemic and latest oil industry crash, yet these fools prefer to ignore that. The problem we are facing is ignorant seniors and redneck hillbilly rural Albertans who aren’t smart enough to understand that there is a huge difference between a conservative and a reformer.

    1. Mr. Spiller: Petroleum is a curse, and among the results of that curse is that the volatile behaviour of commodity markets makes governments greedy and stupid, and the impacts of such government behaviour makes voters act the same way – out of both fear and greed. It’s false to say that Alberta voters are stupider than those in B.C. or elsewhere, as several commenters on this blog regularly do. I understand the bitterness by those commentators, but the reality is we are cursed by our good fortune. B.C. is fortunate to have less petroleum, and entire regions that are not saturated with the stuff. DJC

      1. @ David It isn’t that way in Alaska and Norway from what I saw when I was there. They were proud of how their governments were managing their Oil wealth and it wasn’t making them stupid, as you claim, and it certainly wasn’t that way when Lougheed was running the show. Like the MLAs I got to know and the dozens of oilmen I dealt with they were all furious with what Klein did to Lougheed’s tax and royalties structures and constantly suggested they should never have been tampered with like Klein did. It was just plain stupid. I belong to a senior club with around 75 members with a vast number of them from eastern Canada, who ended up in Alberta because of employment, and they agree with me and their relatives in eastern Canada do also they state. We doubt there are five out of the 75 that are still willing to support these Reformers, but just read the blogs on the newspapers throughout the province and you soon learn how many stupid seniors there are.

        1. Alan K. Spiller: How did Norway amass its massive oil wealth? I heard that their government emulated what Peter Lougheed did when he created the Heritage Savings Trust Fund. Ignorant people then claim that Norway wasn’t like Alberta, where our money went to Ottawa, or to Quebec. They forgot how decades of very pricey shenanigans by these fake conservatives and Reformers in Alberta took our money away. Ralph Klein was one who fed people the like that Alberta gave its wealth to Ottawa, Quebec, and out east, when that never happened. People in Alberta still believe that lie. I also heard that Peter Lougheed wasn’t too enthralled by Ralph Klein, and he compared him to a Reformer. Ralph Klein was originally a Liberal, before he became a Reformer, and he definitely make a horrific mess. Danielle Smith is trying to emulate Ralph Klein. This isn’t helping. People are still fooled by her.

  8. I joined the 3B and Q party
    but can’t remember if it was
    3 beer and Qanon
    or just Beer and BBQ
    I see we are not listed .
    Some guy named jason passed the hat and promised he’d do it. Have you seen him?
    For the New Year
    We have always been “next year country”
    Now we can endlessly be
    “Best summer ever” and all that wish brings

  9. So, right-wing Albertans have a choice of a mixed bag of nuts for the New year’s celebration, or they can stay with the UC(Peanut)P … add in some coconut, and I have this silly jingle stuck in my head—“sometimes you feel …” Choice is good right?

    Trying to be optimistic…..wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year !!!

  10. It’s funny that I have seen a few commercials on tv from the Alberta First Party basically running attack ads against the NDP, with the often tag line “we cannot afford the NDP”. At first I thought it may have been some sort of faction of the UCP disguised in some weird way, but rather some small group popping out of the woods. I had no idea there are so many start up wannabe groups out there.

    1. Old Albertan. Have you noticed that none of these fools offer to explain why we can’t afford the NDP when it was Notley who praised Lougheed for what he had done for Albertans and promised to get us back up to the tax and royalty levels he was at. It was why she was elected, but as my friends point out Albertans expected her to fix the mess in only four years what these fools created in 25 starting with Ralph Klein, and it can’t be done. The lawyers, accountants, oilmen, fellow bankers, and former MLAs that I knew all had nothing but praise for what Notley was trying to do. They knew it is the only way we can get out of financial mess that these fools put us in.

    2. I’ve heard those ads too, but I don’t think they’re from the Alberta First [fringe political] Party. They’re funded by a political action committee aligned with the UCP, called the Alberta First Initiative.

      They’re also vicious US-style attack ads that tend to turn voters off and clearly demonstrate that Rachel Notley & the Alberta NDP has the UCP worried.

      https://albertafirstinitiative.ca/

  11. I think this can all be summed up in the “PWCFSEAAMRWTAE” Party. That’s the “People Who Came From Somewhere Else And Are More Right Wing Than Anyone Else” Party. This is for people who came from away but relocated to the Alberta countryside because Alberta cities have too many rules. Surely in the countryside you can run an unlicensed libertarian day home and drink beer in the garage all day while the children run amok in traffic. No rules! Freedom!

    1. @Abs: excellent point. There was a time, not that long ago, when politics watchers thought that the in-migration into Alberta from more politically competitive and conventional parts of Canada would lead to a more competitive and conventional political scene here. But, IMHO, what those pundits neglected to consider was that those migrants from Ontario and Atlantic Canada were self-selecting to move to a permanently conservative jurisdiction (this was all prior to the 2015-19 NDP interregnum).

      Those that did not move to Edmonton — sometimes known at the time as “Redmonton” — were fully on board with the “drill, baby, drill” mentality of “Fort McMoney” and other regions economically dependent on the oilpatch. Today, I see many of those obscene “F*ck Trudeau” and “F*ck Notley” flags, bumper stickers and rear window decals on lifted pickups that also sport Newfoundland or Nova Scotia flag stickers or map decals. These odious sentiments aren’t just held by those with deep roots in Oilbertastan.

      I happened to notice about 11 months ago, while in Halifax for a family health issue, the prevalence of Pride and #BlackLivesMatter and other progressive and “woke” iconography in residential windows on downtown streets. Yes, there was a small “truck convoy” protest there too: a couple of dozen pickup trucks paraded through the streets honking their horns and flying the same kind of flags we see out here and saw in Ottawa. But it was a pretty low-key, somewhat pathetic affair that bore little resemblance to the more significant protests in Ottawa, Windsor or Coutts. And, it was on a Saturday, so nobody was taking time off work lol.

      My theory is that the mean or average political alignment of places like Halifax has shifted somewhat progressive due to the ex-migration of more conservative types to Alberta and Saskatchewan. You will note that their Progressive Conservative party, led by Premier Tim Houston, is far more centrist than conservative parties out here like the UCP and the Saskatchewan Party.

  12. Howdy David,

    If one reads the Legalize Real Democracy Party website they will find that the people will be able to vote on government bills directly and not through a referendum process as what occurs in other government jurisdictions such as in Switzerland. The Legalize Real Democracy Party will make the voting on bills by the people a made in Alberta process, designed by Albertans for Albertans so they can have the right and freedom of choice to vote on bills that affect their lives. Potentially people will be able to use a cell phone from the convenience of their own couch to vote on bills, if that is collectively what the people want.

    Albertans will also have the right to citizen initiated legislation. This will occur through a petition process. The bills will be debated in the Legislative Assembly by the politicians and voted on by the politicians and all Albertans who choose to use their potentially new right to vote on such bills. Such bills introduced by the people will not be refused by the political parties in the Legislative Assembly as that would be anti-democratic. Albertans will decide if they want the bills or not by voting on them.

    The formula for legalized real democracy is:

    Legalized citizen initiated legislation + Your legalized right to vote on bills = Legalized real democracy for you

    When we have legalized real democracy, Albertans will be able to form the government in any way they wish, under the context of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Constitution, once the formula above is put into place.

    Albertans have an undeveloped democracy and an overdeveloped oligarchy government where the people have no real input into daily government operations. Any current input is just a political façade for the most part in this existing political structure.

    No political party currently in the Legislative Assembly wants to give control of the Legislative Assembly to the people. Every other party wants control over the decisions that affect your life and they want their agendas, hidden or not, to proceed. The decisions political parties have made in Alberta in the past has lead to trillions of dollars of lost economic opportunities in Alberta, a highly degraded health care system which is reducing incomes and leading to more deaths, an environment that is highly degraded and leading to higher cancer rates along with higher health care costs not to mention associated deaths, a very expensive post secondary education system that leads to high long term debts which prevents many people from buying homes while widening the wealth gap, terrible costly homelessness and so many other problems because of a absence of democracy in Alberta. The best way to upgrade our political system is to put the power in the hands of the people as there is far more intelligence outside of the Legislative Assembly to solve problems than there is in it. Many of the politicians in Edmonton don’t even bother to read bills as they are whipped into voting on them. Often politicians don’t even vote on bills as we saw with the Sovereignty Act. So essentially just a few people are making the decisions that affect your life and that is called an oligarchy. As a nation we are trying to stop Russian oligarchs from doing their thing, but why are we stopping there?

    The democracy gap in our politics and elections spells a deep sense of powerlessness by people who drop out, do not vote, or listlessly vote for the least worst every four years and then wonder why after every cycle the “least worst” gets worse.

    The undemocratic design of our current oligarchy political system is to instill enough fear in a voter that they will actually vote contrary to their own best interests. This creates a democracy free zone in Alberta and Canada where the people often do not vote for something, they primarily vote against something. As Noam Chomsky suggests “The best defense against democracy is to distract people.” The political parties in the Edmonton Legislative Assembly, as well as in Ottawa, are very good at this. It is time to turn this around, with legalized real democracy, so the people vote for something rather than voting against political parties as that is not how we get good smart governments.

    There is no longer any reason why we should accept the political system as it is where we live in a false democratic myth. Make way for a legalized real democracy in Alberta and be a part of real historic change that will show leadership to the rest of Canada and the World with the greatest export – real democracy.

    1. Say what? As I understand it, the Legalize Real Democracy Party wants government by petition, and believes that anyone should be able to introduce bills, and everyone can vote on every bill. Who will take the bills door to door for votes? It can’t be done by cell phone – that limits the voting to those with a cell phone. How different is that from any other party that governs mainly for people with money?

    2. Jim K: Yes, our Westminster system does exactly what it was designed to do: keep the aristocracy in power and safe from the people. Having been involved in politics at the grass roots level for most of my life, I can tell you that it is all to easy-to-use fear and lies to stampede people into bad collective decisions. This is something the oligarchs in the oil and gas sector have done in Alberta since the Turner Valley oil boom in the 1920s.

      Given a calm and rational environment, many, but certainly not IMHO, most people come to humane conclusions. However instant voting for everyone would be all to easily perverted into what we have now or worse. As we see with social media, passions are easily manipulated, even amongst the purportedly highly intelligent – one E. Musk comes to mind.

    3. I strongly disagree with the concept of everyone voting on everything. Most do not take the time to make INFORMED decisions, it’s bad enough that we collectively elect bad governments. Just because it is the majority decision, does not make it the right one and the minority would be disadvantaged. I think of the old adage of 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for dinner. This is a bad concept for many reasons.

  13. This phenomenon of splinter parties of very small differences is not unknown. France and Italy come to mind, where because of proportional representation such factions can win seats in legislative assemblies, and this leads to coalition governments. This is pretty rare in a first past the post system.

    Altogether, I suspect this activity shows the level of discontent some Albertans have about the existing parties. What it does show is dissatisfaction wth existing parties articulation of political desires old and perhaps new. It appears the political order maybe shifting, and this is reflected in the efforts to register new parties to maintain the status quo. Will it work? That remains to be seen.

    As the proverb of the wise sage goes, may you live in interesting times.

  14. Whereas this site is the acme of political reportage and analysis in Alberta, so is the proliferation of parties of the right the acne of Alberta partisan politics.

    What’s puzzling is that such proliferation suggests, even by the party names, that either most of these supposed right-wing or far-right parties have so little in common with each other that they don’t simply “unite the far-right,” or that they don’t know that each other exists, or that they do but their respective policy platforms are so way out there that they’re mutually exclusive.

    In any case, it must say something about the most dramatic partisan politics in the country: the continual renovation, since 1992, of the partisan right in Alberta, arguably the most conservative province in the country and probably still the most influential in the federal conservative party.

    Looking forward to the New Year and the revelations that seem immanent, but there’s no doubt where I’ll be looking for excellent insight into whatever transpires in one of my favourite provinces.

    Happy New Year, my Alberta friends! And many, many more!!

  15. Just goes to show how many angry, glass half empty people there in Alberta.

    The upside…even if all of them ran candidates in the election I doubt whether they would get more that 3 percent of the total vote.

    One thing about the crazies….they do provide a certain amount of entertainment value to the rest of us Albertans.

  16. Brian Mason’s dad Bob and I became friends in St. Albert when we began supporting each other’s letters to the editor. Bob was an electrical engineer and my father was a power plant engineer and Bob was surprised how much I had learned from listening to what my father was saying about what Klein’s stupid idea of deregulation of electricity would do to us and everything dad taught me came true. The MLAs I knew certainly agreed also. One of them said “ Deregulation is the dirtiest trick Klein could have played on the Alberta people, this will cost us billions of dollars. Just imagine what this is going to the cost our health care and education systems. Hospitals and schools use a lot of electricity.”Actually dumping the cost of the orphan well cleanup mess onto the backs of Albertans is likely just as bad or maybe worse.

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